One of the biggest problems when selling the idea of virtual reality to everyday punters is that it's so experiential that it's hard to do it justice – everyone says it's amazing, but without trying it it's hard to know why.
Essential reading: Oculus Rift review
However, a bunch of YouTube reaction videos sum up how mind-blowing and downright terrifying Oculus Rift games and demos can be. Here we present the most startling Oculus Rift reactions, so you can see just how convincing the experience is and how easy it's going to be to trigger complete nervous breakdowns in unsuspecting gamers.
Here's Lars Nikolausson and a few pals testing out a horror experience for Oculus Rift created on the Unreal Engine 4 engine. The makers of the 30 minute demo say: "In our game you will not die. The only thing which you will have to beat are your fears. Pass the claustrophobic labyrinth if you dare. Are you brave enough to do it? Prove it." We're not so sure any of these proved anything, other than they are all capable of high pitched squealing.
Affected is designed with "jumpscares" in mind, so people know what they are getting themselves in to before they even don the VR helmet. Speaking of helmets, here's PewDiePie getting the heck scared out of him while wearing one. Skip to 2.20 for a particularly sweary reaction.
Essential reading: Oculus Rift vs Sony PlayStation VR
We'll start with Andrew from Shacknews trying out Sega's Alien Isolation. We have no idea what he's seeing, but something startles him (Jonesy?) and then something else makes him almost crap himself seconds later. It's the amazing slow-mo Xenomorph-like contortions of Andrew's mouth that really make it.
Squish is a fairly simple demo in which the walls close in on the player, a little like the trash compactor in Star Wars. A pancake-like death is completely unavoidable, as YouTube user EventHorizon5 found out. It's testament to how virtual reality can make a really simple experience utterly terrifying.
Alone in the Rift
Mashable gave three unlucky victims the chance to play Alone in the Rift, a horror title involving a cabin in the woods. They question why exactly they're walking towards the cabin when they know something terrifying will happen, and then – rather unsurprisingly - completely brick it.
Three for the price of one: these reactions to an Unreal Engine 4-powered rollercoaster are too good not to share. It's a good idea to have someone standing behind you if you ever get to try the demo, as Jacob, Rosha and Jessica will attest.
But just make sure you can trust the person standing behind you. This time around the helper gives the player a tiny nudge when they're at the peak of the rollercoaster, resulting in them completely and utterly losing it, like a giant spider in a greased bathtub. We're not sure if this is funny or just a cruel and unusual form of tech torture. And then there's his friend's laugh...